PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The group working to build a memorial at the site of a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people said on Thursday there will be no formal memorial service at the site to mark the 11th anniversary of the fire, a departure from past practice.
Victoria Eagan of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation said in an email that the decision was due to ongoing construction to build the permanent memorial.
The fire started when pyrotechnics for the band Great White set fire to flammable foam inside The Station nightclub on Feb. 20, 2003.
“There are holes in the ground and the surface is unsafe to open the gates,” Eagan wrote.
A makeshift memorial cropped up at the site in West Warwick, and mourners have gathered there for a formal service every year since the fire.
But the site was closed and cleared in September, and a chain-link fence was put up around the perimeter as work began to build a permanent memorial.
Much of the work and materials needed for the memorial have been donated or given at reduced cost, but the group has had trouble raising the hundreds of thousands of dollars more it needs to complete the memorial and fund its maintenance in perpetuity.
Eagan said on Thursday that fundraising continues to lag.
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